After a blockbuster detour with
, director James Wan returns to his horror roots for like the fifth time in his career with Furious 7 , which follows The Conjuring 2 Conju-Uno‘s Ed and Lorraine Warren into their next really true scary case. The original 2013 film was a Certified Fresh smash for Wan and company, notable because it’s rare for horror movies to get Fresh Tomatometer scores, and even rarer for their franchise sequels. So the fact Conjuring 2 is drawing sorta the same praise as its predecessor…well, that inspires this week’s gallery: 24 best-reviewed horror sequels!
A “best-reviewed” horror sequel for this gallery needs to be Fresh (60% and above), a hurdle James Cameron’s xenomorph massacre easily clears.
28 Weeks Later
The rage pandemic goes global in the mid-budget follow-up to Danny Boyle’s revolutionary running zombie starter.
Final Destination 5
Shooting Death’s grisly agenda in 3D brought critics on board for the novelty, though this was the lowest grossing Final D in the States.
Curse of Chucky
Child’s Play creator Don Mancini ditches the comedy elements that overtook the series, making this the highest rated Chucky movie.
A horror sequel sending up sequelitis (following an original that skewered slasher tropes) saw this series at the height of its incisive wit.
Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
The series’ intersection of terror and comedy was at its finest here, before the Freddy Krueger persona and off-color jokes became stars of the series.
Before making meta his calling card with the Scream franchise, director Wes Craven took a stab at it by pulling Krueger out of the celluloid world and made him an ostensibly real-life menace.
Evil Dead 2
Evil Dead: the only horror franchise where every entry is Fresh or Certified Fresh. Groovy.
Army of Darkness
Though the horror stuff sat more on the tattered fringes, AoD gave Bruce Campbell’s Ash the opportunity to deliver his most beloved lines.
Soft continuation of the original movie that series creator Sam Raimi and Campbell produced to get fans to stop harassing them for a new true ED movie. Didn’t work.
Ash vs. Evil Dead
STARZ pulls Ash from the woods and S-Mart and into his natural habitats (crappy bars and even crappier trailer parks, apparently) in this bloody TV sequel series.
Paranormal Activity 3
After their Catfish hat trick, Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman were hired to steer Paranormal Activity, and made 3 the second-highest rated movie (after the original) and the biggest-grossing worldwide for the franchise.
Set mere seconds after [rec]‘s shock finale, and continuing the franchise’s signature frantic mix of found footage and zombie outbreak mayhem.
[REC] 4: Apocalypse
Again set right after [rec] 2 (and overlooking the Rotten-rated, loosely related third [rec]), Apocalypse saw heroine Manuela Velasco return to conclude the story.
Dawn of the Dead
George A. Romero upped the action and social commentary in his legendary follow-up to the already legendary Night of the Living Dead.
Day of the Dead
Military shenanigans are thrown at the screen in Romero’s 3rd Dead movie, which dares to ask, “Is man the true monster?” (A: DUH.)
Land of the Dead
Long-gestating big-budget Day successor concluded the Dead epic.
Diary of the Dead
Romero did a quick-and-dirty revision of his universe before losing his zombie fastball with the Rotten Survival of the Dead.
Hostel: Part III
A change in location revitalized this series: Who knew beneath the wholesome veneer of Las Vegas lie a cabal of for-profit murderpreneurs?
Tremors 2: Aftershocks
Degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon allowed this Tremors sequel to keep the budget low and the bloody fun high.
Tremors 3: Back to Perfection
Ad hoc series star Michael Gross closed out the original trilogy before returning for 2004’s Tremors prequel, playing his character’s own grandpa.
Wrong Turn 2: Dead End
This Henry Rollins vehicle is the only movie in the Wrong Turn franchise to turn a Fresh Tomatometer.
The Bride of Frankenstein
Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein, both directed by James Whale and starring Boris Karloff, are likewise both 100% Certified Fresh.
Gremlins 2: The New Batch
An essential commentary on pop culture: Read Nathan Rabin’s special column on how this bizarre sequel went off the rails in spectacular fashion.